One of my biggest memories of my first trip to Australia is of Robert saying: “that will kill you.” In visiting Robert’s Dad, I saw a spider, pointed it out to him and was immediately told, “Stay away from that as it will kill you. It’s a brown back.”
Swimming in the ocean, there were not only sharks to worry about, but there were also cone shells, box jellyfish and all sorts of other things that would kill me. And that’s not to mention all the snakes that I encountered that would certainly kill me, from a common brown snake to a tiger snake to a taipan. And if these dangerous creatures would not kill me immediately, they would first cause my skin to turn black and blue and then to fall off in chunks before I would slowly die a painful death.
Australians actually seem proud of their status of having some of the world’s most deadly snakes, spiders and plants. They seem rather casual about living amongst these killers, in fact. While I was running in the opposite direction from any number of these killers, Robert was typically checking it out with fascination.
It reached a point where I began to feel like I was encountering some other deadly animal everywhere I turned. Even those cute kangaroos and koalas could apparently rip me apart with their extremely long talons. So I have to say that I was somewhat surprised to encounter the rather infamous Tasmanian devil the other day. From my memory of watching Bugs Bunny cartoons as a kid, this was one crazy animal that would certainly bring harm to me. But the actual Tasmanian devil has rather a sweet black face and small body. As I admired its cuddly appearance, I suddenly heard a rather bone-chilling series of snarls from the next pen over. It was two Tasmanian devils fighting.
As I watched, I was just as suddenly quite certain that these animals could also kill me.